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Good morning!  Welcome to the DKos Sangha weekly open thread.

This is an open thread for members of the DKos Sangha and others who are interested in discussions concerning how we integrate our progressive political activism into our spiritual practice.  If you have observations about the political discourse of the week, or about practice, or about anything else related to walking a spiritual path through the political world, if you wish to share, or if you seek support, or if you simply want to say hello, please do; this space is for you.

If you would like to write a diary for the DKos Sangha, please let me know.

If you care nothing for spiritual practice and only wish to denigrate and disparage, please do so elsewhere, and respect that this is a community diary for the DKos Sangha.

I think that Ooooh is once again planning to post Monday night's group meditation diary at 7:00 Eastern, with the meditation period to run from 7:30 - 10:00.  This group sitting is open to beginners and advanced, and is not restricted to any particular traditions or practices.  It is not expected that you sit for the entire period; sit for as long as you like, when you like.  The idea is that we are here together; supporting each other, holding space for each other.

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There is this story about karma.  It is a 'ripples on the surface of a pond' story.  You've probably heard similar stories.

There is this person in line at the grocery checkout; the line is long and moving slow.  This person is already agitated - a bad day at work, traffic jam, and later getting home than preferred.  And now this line at the checkout is moving really slowly, and why does the store not open more of the checkouts, and then why did the person at the head of the line not begin writing out their check until after everything was rung up; they could have already filled out everything but the amount and saved us all a lot more time; and does the manager not see how long this line is?  So by the time this already agitated, hurried, late for home person gets to the checkout person, the expression on their face is one of anger, impatience, and annoyance, glaring at the checkout person.  The checkout person feels this energy, and it either adds to whatever bad day they are already having, or it changes or dilutes whatever good vibe may have been going.  And this change in karma resulting from the exchange with the agitated shopper is what the checkout person carries into the next exchange with the next person in line.  This is karma, cause and effect, ripples on a pond.

Alternatively, the person in line is calm, peaceful, even if late.  When they arrive at the head of the line, there is a warm smile and a genuinely caring greeting offered to the checkout person.  The checkout person receives this energy, and it changes their experience.  It mutes what may have been a bad day, or it adds to an already good day.  And this change is then carried into the meeting with the next customer in line.  Ripples on a pond, cause and effect.

On the front page at Daily Kos there are often diaries written about service jobs; wait staff in restaurants, retail workers, etc.  Serving others is honorable work, and one might even say that feeding others is especially honorable work.  Yet as the front page articles point out, these jobs are often low paying.  But I would imagine you've also noticed that some folks tend to ignore the wait staff that is serving them; sometimes the customers just give orders, unsmiling, short, or perhaps even in a complaining tone of voice about the lack of preferred choices.

The energy we bring into a meeting with another person is transferred to that person and effects what happens next in their lives.  And then the energy that person takes into their next meeting with someone else is subsequently transferred, and so on.  Ripples on a pond.  Our actions have consequences.  Every day.  Every meeting.  In traffic, at work, with family members, in comment sections in Daily Kos diaries.  We literally change the lives of every person we meet, and the lives of the people they in turn meet, etc.  Our actions affect the world we live in and the future unfolding of events in ways that we may never know.  If we are the last customer in the store just before closing, what energy will the store clerk take home to their spouse and child after their exchange with us?

And every meeting is of course part of our spiritual practice.  Every meeting is an opportunity to watch how we react to others, an opportunity to notice when we are becoming agitated, an opportunity to breathe, to move out of the story that egoic conditioning wants us to follow, and move into the heart, into just being present with whatever is happening.

The Bodhisattva ideal is to live one's life with the intention to help alleviate suffering in the world.  And one of the simplest yet effective ways of doing this is with a warm smile to the parking garage attendant, the waiter, the store clerk.  The energy in that smile is a cause that will have an effect, which then becomes a cause resulting in a subsequent effect.  Ripples on a pond; spreading out from one person to another.  Changing the world.  Karma.

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Enjoy your day; stay warm; and spread good karma.

Namaste

Originally posted to DKos Sangha on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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